Financial stocks are higher, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index advancing 0.4% and the S&P Financial 100 Index gaining 0.6%.
In company news, Ambac Financial Group, Inc. ( AMBC ) is up nearly 4% at $21.82 a share after the surety and title insurance company reported Q3 net income of $4.98 per share, a huge improvement over its $0.52 per share gain in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts, on average, were expecting a $0.25 per share net loss although it was not clear whether the numbers were comparable.
Net earned premiums slid 37.3% from the same quarter last year to $70.9 million, missing the Capital IQ consensus by $75.7 million.
In other sector news,
(+) AFL, (+1.1%) Authorizes the repurchase of an additional 40 mln shares of its common stock on top of the 16.9 mln remaining under a prior authorization. The insurer expects to buy back $800 mln in shares during 2013 and up to $1 bln in shares during 2014.
(-) RMAX, (-2.5%) Realtor reports adjusted Q3 EPS of $0.32, trailing the single analyst estimate looking for a $0.99 per share profit. Revenue climbs 5% year over year to $40.3 mln, topping the analyst view by $1.11 mln.
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